An oil spill drill on Dong Nai River (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Oil spills at sea are a trans-border environmental problem which requires cooperation among all sides involved to be handled, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) Nguyen Linh Ngoc.

The statement was made at a conference held in Hanoi on April 15 to review the implementation of the Prime Minister’s Decision 1278/QD-TTg issued in 2009 on cooperation among Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia in response to oil spills in the Gulf of Thailand, and Decision 1864/QD-TTg issued in 2011 on Vietnam-Philippines work to address the issue.

Strengthening international collaboration is determined as an important task to optimise the support and assistance of countries and international organisations for oil spill response efforts, he said.

Ngoc also stressed shortcomings in implementing Decision 1278/QD-TTg, such as behind-schedule missions and loose coordination between relevant agencies.

Programmes to enhance the capacity of the oil spill monitoring and responding systems fell short of expectation, he added.

According to Vu Si Tuan, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam General Department of Seas and Islands, the MONRE has been assigned to complete a legal framework on addressing oil spills at sea, improve monitoring systems, raise public awareness of the problem, and enhance international cooperation in the field.

The agency has worked to continue coordination between relevant forces of Vietnam and the Philippines on oil spill preparedness and response, he stated.

Statistics from the ministry showed that on average, ten oil spills took place in Vietnamese waters annually in the past 20 years, posing serious pollution to the country’s coastal ecologies.-VNA